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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Mary, the Mother of John, Surnamed Mark

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(Μαρία μήτηρ Ι᾿ωάννου τοῦ ἐπικαλουμένου Μάρκου , Acts 12:12). A.D. 44. The woman known by this description must have been among the earliest disciples. We learn from Colossians 4:10 that she was sister to Barnabas, and it would appear from Acts 4:37; Acts 12:12. that, while the brother gave up his land and brought the proceeds of the sale into the common treasury of the Church, the sister gave up her house to be used as one of its chief places of meeting. The fact that Peter went to that house on his release from prison indicates that there was some special intimacy (Acts 12:12) between them, and this is confirmed by the language which he uses towards Mark as being his "son" (1 Peter 5:13). She, it may be added, must have been, like Barnabas, of the tribe of Levi, and may have been connected, as he was. with Cyprus (Acts 4:36). It has been surmised that filial anxiety about her welfare during the persecutions and the famine which harassed the Church at Jerusalem, was the chief cause of Mark's withdrawal from the missionary labors of Paul and Barnabas. The tradition of a later age represented the place of meeting for the disciples, and therefore probably the house of Mary, as having stood on the upper slope of Zion, and affirmed that it had been the scene of the wonder of the day of Pentecost, had escaped the general destruction of the city by Titus, and was still used as a church in the 4th century (Epiphan. De Pond et Mens, 14; Cyril Hierosol. Catech. 16). (See MARK).

6. A Christian female at Rome, mentioned by Paul as having formerly treated him with special kindness (Romans 16:6). A.D. 54. As this is the only Hebrew name in the list (Jouatt, ad loc.), and as the reading εἰς ἡμᾶς in the same verse is disputed, it is possible that she was not a native of Rome.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Mary, the Mother of John, Surnamed Mark'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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